Document Type


Publication Date



Issues continue to arise about judicial independence in the United States. The term judicial independence is often not defined with precision. Judicial independence has its roots in the doctrine of separation of powers. It is also grounded in due process and in ethical standards that require judges to be competent and impartial decision-makers. Judicial independence depends upon society having faith in the integrity of the courts. Accountability is thus the handmaid of an independent judiciary. This article defines both the structures and the ethical standards that ensure an independent judiciary.